People say that vaccines are linked to long-term health problems such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and autism. Is that true?
All vaccines have possible side effects. Most, however, are mild and temporary. Adverse effects from vaccines are monitored thoroughly via multiple reporting systems, and there is no evidence from these systems to support these claims.
The vaccine information sheet for my child’s recent vaccination listed lots of potential side effects. Why is vaccination recommended if it can cause all of these side effects?
Every vaccine has potential side effects. Typically they are very mild: soreness at the injection site (for a vaccine delivered via a shot), headaches, and low-grade fevers are examples of common vaccine side effects. Serious side effects are possible, however, including severe allergic reactions. However, the occurrence of these side effects is extremely rare. (Your doctor can explain the risks for individual vaccines in detail; more information is also available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
When considering possible side effects from vaccination, it’s important to do so in context. While some possible side effects are serious, they are extremely rare. It’s important to remember is that choosing not to vaccinate also has serious risks. Vaccines protect against potentially fatal infectious diseases; avoiding vaccination raises the risk of contracting those diseases and spreading them to others.